With summer around the corner, the road conditions here in Ontario have changed. Icy roads aren't going to be a factor anymore, so instead, drivers have an easier drive ahead of them. Careful drivers would have switched tires during the seasonal change to winter. Winter brings its own set of difficult road conditions, so winter tires are the preferred choice for people who want to maximize safety and control on the road. However, winter tires, although excellent for traction during the colder, icier months, are not ideal in the summer.
Now is the time when people make the switch to tires more suitable for spring and summer weather. However, some people may make the switch to “all-season” tires, while others will switch over to summer tires. Is this something you should be thinking about for your car? And if so, what exactly should you be looking for in summer tires?
The Big Difference
While the name “summer tires” makes it pretty clear that you’re removing winter tires for a new set, why would you want to go specifically with summer tires versus all-season tires? The answer to that question is where your preferences lie for the performance of your car.
When you drive with all-season tires, you’re getting tires that can work well in the spring, summer, fall, and even reasonably mild winters. It is in the worst, icier winter driving conditions that all-season tires start to show off their weakness.
Summer tires are meant to provide maximum traction, providing greater speed and agility to cars. They enable competent drivers to take advantage of increased cornering and braking abilities. The road-holding ability is top class with summer tires, and they do better in wet road conditions than any other tire.
So, for people who put a premium on good driving experience and prefer the maximum amount of traction and control for precision driving, summer tires provide a big performance boost. Anyone willing to invest the money for a better driving experience during the summer benefits from choosing to take the extra step of switching over to summer tires.
1. Your Driving Needs
The kind of summer tire you get is going to have a direct correlation with what you hope to achieve as a driver. All summer tires will boost the performance of your car, with more traction, responsiveness, and agility on turns. However, not all summer tires are created equal.
Some summer tires are on the more general side of enhancing performance, giving you a nice boost in all of these areas. However, some are better suited to more powerful automobiles, such as sports cars, and only if the drivers have the necessary skill to take advantage of what these tires can do for a car. After all, if you own a compact car, and you don't ever plan on leaving the city for that year, it's unnecessary and even wasteful for you to consider getting high-performance summer tires. But if you own an expensive sport or racing car, you'll want to invest in summer tires for those stretches of a drive where you are going over 130 km/h and negotiating tight turns.
2. Tread Life
From a vehicle maintenance perspective, tread life is a factor you'll want to consider. Summer tires are high-performing, but depending on the amount of performance they provide, they can have longer or shorter lifespans. If you're not comfortable with frequently replacing your summer tires for new ones, tread life is going to be a major factor for you.
Tread life is also going to vary a lot depending on how you drive and what kind of driving you do. If, for example, you use your car a lot, even for work, then your continuous hours logged on the road are going to have a very different effect on your tread life. On the other hand, someone who drives to work and lets the car sit in a parking lot for eight hours, only to drive it back home, and give the car a workout only on weekends will have a different tread life rate.
3. Your Vehicle
Another thing you should look for in your summer tire is a consideration for the vehicle that you're using, which, in some sense, also ties into how you drive. The biggest example is the difference between cars and SUVs. SUVs also have their own summer tires, but here, greater agility and speed may not be the biggest factors. SUV summer tires may favour traction because it is likely some off-roading onto trails will be done, with uneven inclines, heading over sharp rocks, and driving through creeks or rivers.
A sports car, on the other hand, is never going to leave smooth, paved roads. This type of driver is never going to worry about sliding on gravel or taking to a trail full of uneven surfaces. This will require an entirely different type of summer tire, to meet the expectations for performance that the vehicle will have.
Talk to the Experts
One thing you should always do when thinking about summer tires is getting an expert opinion. We have specialists here at Goderich Toyota, and there are also plenty of tire specialists and experts in vehicle maintenance that can give you advice on the best approach for summer tires for your vehicle.
Just remember that once you’ve got your tires, you’ll need to think about removing them and storing them away for the winter. Provided you take care of your summer tires when they’re not in use, they can provide years of enhanced performance for you on the road.